Chile 1


It is the 23rd of November (Wednesday), and we have finally arrived in Chile.  We are giddy like little kids.  We don't feel as though this is an on going vacation.  We both feel as though this is the first day of a "Brand New Adventure".  The trip through Ecuador and Peru seem distant already.  It is caused by the changes in the "Roads", the "People", the "Culture", the "History".  It is totally different.........  This is going to be fun!


The border crossing into Chile.

This was the easiest border crossing in all of Central and South America.

No bribes.

Just professional and courteous Chileans.

The total border crossing took less than 2 hours and we did not encounter any frustrations.
The Atacama Desert continues....

Not a weed in sight...

The first city in Chile is Arica.

On this point of land, is the Pan-American Hotel, where we stayed.

Remember, I am trying to make it up to Sandy.

Some reminders of a prior experience in my life....
This one was a little close to home....

 

(I was in an airplane crash a few years ago).


The harbor in Arica, Chile.


If you have traveled in Baja California, and stopped in Santa Rosalia, you may have visited the Eiffel church.

Well, Arica also has a church built by Gustave Eiffel.

This church was built in 1876, which was 13 years prior to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris.

The church in Baja was built in 1889, if my memory is accurate....

Night shot of the "all metal" church.
Even the columns were made of metal.

Here, in the center of the Atacama Desert, this church should last a long time!


On the 24th of November, we left Arica, Chile and continued south through the on going Atacama Desert.  You might think that riding though this desert would get boring.  Not......................  

You ride down through valleys, to an altitude of about 700 feet, then you climb the high plateaus, which are about 4,000 feet high.  The pile of dirt in this photo is nearly 2,000 feet high.



About 20 miles south of Arica, you encounter these unusual sculptures.
The sculptures are in the "middle" of nowhere.

 

And the "middle" of nowhere goes on for hundreds of miles.

 

The "middle" is huge!

 

Did I already say that this goes on for hundreds of miles?

It gives you a lot of Thinkin' time.....

You realize that you can not be dependent on anybody other than yourself.

This was the only house on a 200+ mile ride.

We needed gas again...

Purchased a gallon of gas, which took the stress out of the final 30 miles of the ride.

And back to the road......     And I constantly think......     Are we the only people left on earth?


Nasca had huge markings, which we visited in a Cessna.

This area of the Atacama has many smaller markings from hundreds of years ago.


Sometimes it seems that it is just the 2 of us, and the many ghosts of the unfortunate!  You see these roadside shrines almost constantly.  Here are a couple of the most unusual....



Our first view of Iquique, Chile.

This would be a good place for the KTM 950, with a paddle wheel.   This dune was about 300 feet tall.


Iquique, Chile is "Victorian"...

The adobe's and colonial's of Peru and Ecuador are long gone now.....

Our hotel, in Iquique, was located on the point behind me.
The view from the window of our hotel...

They claim that Iquique is the "Miami Beach" of Chile...

It is very nice, but that claim may be a stretch!

Night shot out the same window.

It was a very pleasant night, listening to the surf.

And the boats out the same window.
Pretty classy city......

The main Plaza, in Iquique, Chile.


On the 25th of November, we leave Iquique and head to Antofagasta, Chile.  Another 250 mile day. 

The coastline is mainly rocks.



Typical coastline, in the Atacama Desert.
The water was very colorful.
We saw 3 golf courses.

When we saw the first golf course, I thought that it was "Marked" for construction.

I was wrong....

This is a finished golf course, with the club house in the background.

This golf course was not open to the public.. Go figure!

We are finally as far south of the equator, as the tropic of Cancer  is north of the equator (near the tip of Baja, California).

We are now 5,000 direct miles from home.

The picture below, is the monument at the "Tropic of Capricorn".



We arrive in Antofagasto, Chile and I am still trying to make it up to Sandy.

Again, on the water, with a view!

The hotel also had flat panel televisions and Wireless Modems for the Internet.

The hotel was built in 1955, and is "Very" classic.

The view from our window.
A very classic 1955...

The hotel, that is...

 

The other is a classic 1950.......


On the way to Antofagasta, we passed through the mining town of Tocopilla, where we had a "Then and Now".  The city is now a run down mining town with a lot of old and unused equipment laying around.  To replicate the picture would have required a boat.  Call me lazy, but we decided it was not worth the effort.  Yep... I am getting lazy!

The picture was from a book printed in 1940 entitled "South American Excursion", by Ernst Young.




That's it through Saturday, the 26th of November, 2005!

Click the "Next" button to see the listing of the books used for the preparation of this adventure......

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